U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Interstate Highway 35 checkpoint foiled a human smuggling attempt in a flatbed trailer north of Laredo.
The incident occurred during the early morning, when a pickup truck hauling a flatbed trailer approached the checkpoint. During the immigration inspection of the driver, a service canine alerted to the vehicle.
Further inspection revealed 26 individuals concealed in a false compartment in the trailer. The individuals were determined to be illegally in the United States from the country of Mexico. They were placed under arrest along with the U.S. citizen driver pending further investigation by Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations.
None of the individuals were wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE) while concealed in the cramped space under the flatbed trailer. Laredo Sector Chief Patrol Agent Matthew Hudak stated, “Trapping 26 people underneath the floor of this trailer created a very dangerous situation, putting the lives of these illegal aliens at risk. Without any social distancing or PPE, these people were completely unprotected from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Smugglers continue to demonstrate a total disregard for public safety and the lives of smuggled aliens.”